A New York man received a sentence of 10.5 to 32 years in prison for aggravated vehicular homicide in the 2012 death in Lindenhurst of a young woman who was blocks away from her home. The judge in the case stated that he hoped the maximum sentence given to the drunk driver would serve as an example.
The car accident occurred around 10:25 p.m. on June 24, 2012, as the woman, 18, headed home after work several days after having graduated from high school. The other driver, a 31-year-old man from West Babylon, was reported by police as driving west at a speed of 100 mph along Montauk Highway when he struck the vehicle driven by the young woman, causing it to overturn and throw the woman out. According to witnesses, he was seen weaving through the traffic, speeding and running red lights before the accident. The speeding driver's vehicle reportedly stopped when it crashed into a pole. The female driver was pronounced dead at the accident site.
After being charged in the accident, the driver pleaded not guilty to 11 counts and was held on bail of $1 million. According to prosecutors, the man's BAC level at the time of the crash was over four times the legal limit of .08 percent. Although the driver was originally accused of second-degree murder by depraved indifference, he was found not guilty of that charge.
Driving drunk and speeding while disobeying traffic laws may be considered both negligent and reckless behavior. A driver who behaves in this fashion, as in this case, may be held accountable for the death of another individual whose family may suffer financial difficulties because of it. An attorney may assist the family in recovering expenses associated with the family member's death by filing a wrongful death suit.
Source: Huff Post, "Michael Grasing Charged In Teen Brittney Walsh's Murder After Fatal Car Crash," Frank Eltman, July 18, 2012
Source: CBS New York, "Long Island Man Sentenced In DWI Crash That Killed High School Grad," Jan. 5, 2015